Something a little different from the city’s ancient temples and shrines.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Tokyo Tower, whose observation floors offer expansive views of Japan’s capital city. Many people tend to forget, though, that Kyoto, one of Japan’s former capitals, has a tower of its own.

It’s not so hard to understand why Kyoto Tower is often overlooked, though. For starters, Kyoto’s more traditional architecture and lower, flatter skyline means the city tends to look its best when viewed from ground level. For that matter, Kyoto Tower is only 131 meters (430 feet) tall, compared to Tokyo Tower’s height of 333. Overall, Kyoto Tower just doesn’t have the necessary flash and pizzazz to really grab travelers’ attention.

A new tower that’s just opened in Kyoto, though, has a much more distinctive hook…or maybe we should say more distinctive points?

The Knife Tower (or Hocho Tower, to use its Japanese name) opened on January 7 at the intersection between Kyoto’s Nishiki Market and Teramachi Shopping Street. It’s found on the second floor of cutlery maker Jikko’s new specialty shop in Kyoto, which opened the same day.

The Knife Tower isn’t trying to compete with Japan’s more famous towers in terms of height, though it does stretch from the floor to the ceiling. Instead, its appeal lies in the opportunity to be surrounded by 180 high-quality knives, each polished to a mirror finish and arranged to create the impression of a storm of blades swirling around you, even as the knives themselves stay still.

Things are a little less dramatic, though still strikingly (cuttingly?) cool-looking on the shop’s first floor.

The showroom area has over a hundred knives from a variety of Jikko’s lines, many sporting customized one-of-a-kind handles.

The company says that it hopes the Knife Tower will become a new Kyoto “power spot,” attracting visitors who will come away with a deeper appreciation for cooking knives made in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, where Jikko and many other esteemed cutlery makers are based. Jikko also points out that it’s currently celebrating 123 years since the company’s founding, which seems like a somewhat arbitrary milestone to mark, but when you’ve got so many knives that you can make a tower out of them, most people probably aren’t going to ty to tell you what you can and can’t do. And should you want to see even more bladed instruments, the Knife Tower is just a short walk from the Kyoto branch of the Samurai Ninja experience museum.

Shop information
Jikko Hamono (Kyoto Nishi Teramachi branch) / 實光刃物(京都 錦寺町店)
Address: Kyoto-fu, Kyoto-shi, Nakagyo-ku, Higashigawacho 536-1
Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Source, images: PR Times
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